During the dog days of summer, it's easy to run up an energy bill that puts you in the doghouse. Turn off the air conditioner, and opt for ceiling fans instead. You'll feel a cool, gentle breeze instead of the chilling blast of your air conditioning system, and you'll save money. Choose a ceiling fan that matches the room's decor. A fan made from a deep wood is a nice complement to a study or office. A black or white ceiling fan with brushed nickel trimmings may be just what you need for a bedroom or living area, and a wicker fan is ideal for an outdoor porch or patio. If the ceiling fan has a built-in light, it can serve a dual purpose: cooling and illuminating the room simultaneously. If the fan you like best doesn't come with lights, check to see whether it's wired for lighting. If it is, you can buy a separate light kit and install the bulbs yourself. Decide how you want your ceiling fan to function. Most fans are activated by pulling a chain or cord or by flipping a light switch. Other fans come equipped with remote controls, allowing you to turn them on without walking across the room. Fans typically come with several speed grades: low, medium and high. Other fans have infinitely variable speeds controlled by rotating a dial or lever or pressing up or down buttons on the remote. If your primary concern is savings, don't forget to check the fan's energy rating. Energy Star fans will probably give you the biggest bang for your buck.
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